April 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Happy belated Easter! Nope, I didn’t let this Easter pass without a craft from me. But I have been so far behind, I didn’t tell you sooner! Or can I just say I am a year early?
I made paper Easter egg pockets for Canadian Living‘s April issue this year. Hope you can make it next year! There’s definitely a lot of time to make these by then…
The direct link to the craft is here.
So sorry I am late!
July 25, 2011 § 13 Comments
Here’s another beautiful way to recycle your plastic bottles into decorative vases. Ridged rectangular juice bottles are so simplistic, they make quite some modern vases. Add a dusting of glitter and you have yourself a stunning set to add to your table or mantle.
To make your own recyclable glitter vases, you will need plastic juice bottles (I prefer ridged rectangular ones, like Ocean Spray), glue, paint, glitter, foam brush, paint brush, and X-Acto knife.
1. Using an X-Acto knife, cut off the top half of the plastic juice bottle.
2. Paint the outside of the juice bottle.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all juice bottles you are using. I painted each a different shade of purple.
4. Turn the bottle upside down. Apply glue to the flat bottom (currently the top) of the bottle, on the outside.
5. Spread glue using a foam brush.
6. Pour glitter over the glue.
7. Tap off glitter onto a large sheet of paper.
8. Repeat steps 4 to 7, applying glue and glitter to short segments of the bottle. It’s best to apply glue and glitter in segments to prevent glue from drying before glitter is applied.
9. Continue apply glue and glitter until the entire surface is covered.
10. Repeat steps 4 to 9 for all juice bottles you are using. I used a different shade of glitter for each bottle. Let dry upside down.
I smiled from ear to ear throughout the making of this craft yesterday, as it came into being with the help of serendipity. I knew I was going to make glitter vases out of my collection of juice bottles, but hadn’t a single idea what color it should be nor what flowers to display. I figured, I’d have the idea sorted out by the time I finished instructing a dinosaur workshop (my wonderful weekend job and the origin of many creative musings).
Along my drive, I randomly caught sight of purple lavender-like weeds on the side of the road. It was decided my vases would be gradations of purple. I made a mental note of the exact location of the weeds so I can later return for some pickings. After teaching the class, I decided to stop into a Dollarama I hadn’t ever visited (no, I haven’t visited all of their stores in the Greater Toronto Area; well, at least not yet). There, I found a trove of beautiful, fine glitter in cute jars and in an assortment of colors, none I had seen at other Dollaramas before. I also found artificial lavender stems available in exactly three shades of purple, as I envisioned. The weeds and the artificial lavender stems are so uncannily alike, it’s just so amusing how things turn out sometimes. Everything I imagined appeared before my eyes. I love those days.
June 25, 2011 § 4 Comments
Here’s a DIY-fashion kickoff to the first weekend of summer! Now, if I may say, the last time crop tops were this explosive was in 1991, twenty years ago. Yes, I have full recollection, considering I was already in sixth grade. Now, if I must add (if you can add the numbers) — I really couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t wear a crop top now at my age. Or…not at least without layering a tank underneath? I do not have the guts to wear the top alone, the irony of which is needless to say, my gut itself.
I’m sure you’re catching on, I am really loving the basket weave. I baked that gigantic basket-weave cornucopia cracker, crafted those eco basket-weave vases from milk and juice cartons, so why not basket-weave my clothes, too?
For this project, you will need two identical t-shirts, a rotary blade and cutting mat, or fabric scissors. Conveniently, when I started planning to make this tee two weeks ago, Michaels had their shirts on sale, 2 for $6.
1. On one shirt, cut a boat neck.
2. On the same shirt, trim the sleeves to your preference.
3. On the same shirt, cut equal vertical strips (I did 3/4″) from the left of center, starting from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt. Make sure there is a centered strip. When you get to the end, trim off the last strip — this will provide the horizontal gaps on the sides.
4. Repeat from right of center, until your entire shirt has vertical strips across. Trim off the last strip, as above.
5. Take your second shirt, cut equal horizontal strips from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt.
6. Start weaving. The easiest way is to fold back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through.
7. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
8. Repeat the weaving by folding back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
9. Continue weaving until you have used all of your horizontal strips.
10. Tug on each strip to stretch it out.
11. Knot each vertical strip to the last horizontal strip. You can play with the distances of the vertical strips to create various gaps. I knotted about half of vertical strips close to center to be as close as possible to each other. Then I knotted the remaining strips on the side at about 1″ apart. Patterns can differ greatly from where these knots are tied.
Now wear it and bare it!!
May 19, 2011 § 34 Comments
It’s been raining cats and dogs here in Toronto. We have been swamped with seven consecutive days of rain. I’ve been ogling the clear umbrellas at the dollar store for over a year now and with all this wet weather, finally found a good excuse to pick them up. Doodling a custom umbrella is one rainy day project to soak in during this rainy season!
I have had a hard time finding that cute umbrella. It didn’t occur to me until experiencing all the rain this week that I can design my own umbrella any way I want. Oh, the torrent of possibilities! Skyline? Spring flowers? Sunshine? The list is endless and, luckily, the dollar store is fully stocked with these clear umbrellas this season. I will have an illustrated umbrella collection by the time all this rain ceases. For now, let it keep raining cats and dogs.
You will need: a clear umbrella and permanent markers.
1. This project has little margin for error, so I decided to sketch my cats and dogs on paper before tracing them ON THE INSIDE of the umbrella with my Sharpie.
2. Continue the design around the umbrella.
3. Color away! I wanted a simplicity to this design considering it’s quite cheeky to begin with, so I used my Sakura Permapaque white paint marker.
Now get outside, step into a few puddles, and sing in the rain!
April 21, 2011 § 35 Comments
Tomorrow is Earth Day! In order to celebrate and honor our planet, I’ve salvaged some cartons and jars from being thrown into the landfill and woven the cartons into this pair of bright vases.
I made them in theme of the beautiful colors of our globe: the warp and weft are in cool blue and vivid green hues, and the vases are topped off with beautiful white clouds of hydrangeas. Just the kind of décor my kitchen table needs this spring!
1. Cut the cartons to preferred height, making sure that they are taller than the jar for containing the water for your bouquet. Paint the cartons. If you want your vases to be a single color, you may skip this step for now and paint after the cartons are woven.
2. For each vase: cut one carton into 1/2″ strips vertically, making sure not to cut out the bottom, and cut the second carton into 1/2″ strips horizontally.
3. Start weaving by sliding the horizontal strips into alternating vertical strips.
4. Continue weaving until you reach the top and glue the top pieces together so the basket weave does not come undone.
5. Fill your jar with water and place inside the woven carton and arrange your favorite spring blooms.
Happy Earth Day!
April 19, 2011 § 8 Comments
Today, I’m crafting over at Canadian Living’s The Craft Blog. The photo I posted in my sneak peek yesterday is actually that of a carrot Easter basket. What I didn’t mention is the totally random and unlikely craft item it’s made of, which is…a pylon! Quickly hop over to your local dollar store to pick up your pylon before the holiday weekend (of course, I got mine at my favorite, Dollarama). Then read my super simple tutorial to magically turn your pylon into a carrot Easter basket in three easy steps!
April 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
If your Easter eggs are looking for some style, but do not want to don all the frills of the previous ruffled eggs, they may want to look into fashioning some of our favorite notions: ric rac.
Ric rac is so much like the traditional Easter egg zig zag pattern, it couldn’t be more perfect.
April 5, 2011 § 3 Comments
March 24, 2011 § 23 Comments
I’m a balloon type of gal. I love balloons. Even more than flowers. Balloons liven up a room and turn the average day red letter.
Back in October, I decided to doodle away on a few balloons and came up with one of my favorite posts that I’ve ever made for this blog to date — Halloween balloon body parts. Of course, being the Halloween baby that I am, I have a partiality for balloons on Halloween. But back in October, I also knew balloons had to be on my Easter to-do list. Fast forward to March, a month away from Easter, and I’ve got myself doodling on balloons again. I still love my balloon body parts (especially the eyes) for their novelty and impact, but I can’t help but smile at the joy of these oversize Easter eggs.
For this project, I had to look into pastel-colored markers at my local art store, Curry’s, and discovered Sakura Permapaque. They are water and pigment based paint markers that claim to be opaque (even on dark surfaces) and waterproof. I wanted to ensure they wouldn’t smudge as I doodled, and sure enough, the marker dried in seconds and there was no problem of smudging as I went along. I also ran a decorated balloon under the tap and the colors did not budge. What’s best is they are dual-tipped (medium point and chisel — and it is very difficult to get chisel tip markers in a variety of colors). Overall, I’m quite content with the new vibrant addition to my crafting inventory.
So if you find egg decoration is too dainty and cumbersome, you may want to try decorating these balloons for size.
March 19, 2011 § 96 Comments
Here’s a fun and simple Easter craft that you can do with the little ones. Repurpose those egg cartons to make these cute candy-filled chicks.
You will need scissors, glue, and the following:
a. Egg carton
b. Yellow paint and black marker
c. Yellow and orange card stock
To make each chick:
1. Cut two egg carton cups. Glue a 1/2″ x 1-3/4″ piece of paper to each half, acting as a hinge.
2. Paint throughout.
3. Take small pieces of card stock, two yellow and two orange, each measuring approximately 1″ x 1/2″. Fold a 1/4″ flap from the edge. From the fold, cut into triangles.
4. Affix one yellow triangle on each side of the inner bottom egg carton cup. Affix one orange triangle on the front of the inner top and another on the inner bottom egg carton cup.
5. Cut orange card stock into feet and adhere to the bottom cup. Take a black marker and draw small eyes.
Fill with candy treats, give away, and watch your loved ones chirp with delight.
March 12, 2011 § 4 Comments
I’m sorry. I had to do it. I gave the Irish shamrock a tropical twist. Blame the artificial potted orchid sitting conspicuously in my stairway for planting the idea in my head.
I hesitated on this craft all week, but finally dared this afternoon. I’m happy I did. I think the end result is a successful variation on St. Patrick’s Day décor, for those not looking for the obvious.
From across the room, there’s no telling about the holiday. But the paper shamrocks are a charming surprise up close.
You will need: bowl or pot with Styrofoam block, two dried rose stems and two dried filler flower stems (lucky I only lazily considered disposing of my dried up Valentine’s Day bouquet from O.T. without actually doing so), two shades of green cardstock, scissors, tape, hot glue gun, and glue sticks.
1. Using tape, attach a dried filler flower stem close to the top of a dried rose stem to create a curved (almost horizontal) stem extension . Most filler flowers have skinny, curved stems and make for a good stem extension.
2. Cut cardstock shamrocks in various sizes. Make two shamrocks per flower: one large (outer) and one small (inner), some with stems, some without. I noticed that orchids have the gradation starting from a darker center to a lighter edge, so I made the inner shamrock darker than the outer.
3. Glue together the shamrocks. I placed a rhinestone in the center of each. It’s gives a nice dimension, but it’s not necessary.
4. Glue the shamrocks on the stems.
5. Carefully insert the stems in the Styrofoam block.
6. Fill the bowl or pot with gold coins. I thought the coins would give enough character, but I felt it was still lacking, so I finished it off with a rainbow ribbon.
Let this fun potted paper shamrock liven your desk or windowsill or add more green to your St. Patrick’s Day party spread.
January 30, 2011 § 54 Comments
I promise these are the easiest paper roses you’ll ever make!
The ornamental design of paper doilies is what makes these roses so naturally exquisite. Because the beauty is intrinsic in the material, these paper doily roses require little fuss to look beautiful.
1. Take an 8″ red paper doily and cut a straight line to the center.
2. Roll the doily, making sure the wrong side faces up.
3. Twist the end.
4. You may use floral tape to create a stem, but I used what I found at home — green painter’s tape.
5. Optional: you can cover the stem with ribbon for a more polished look.
There you have it — a paper rose in seconds! These paper doily roses are not only simple to make, they are also very inexpensive. I managed to pick up half a dozen red paper doilies for $1 at the dollar store.
A bouquet of these is certainly a stunning substitute for bows when wrapping gifts, but, with the help of some glue and magnets, I also fancy having a beautiful collection of paper roses on my fridge!